I know this is probably a repeat question, but I was curious for those that don't feed year round, when do feed protein?
I have always mixed it 50/50 with corn, and have filled my protein feeders from the spring until late summer for the most part, but wondering if that is sufficient.
I would not mix corn with the protein. I have done this and had some really bad problems arise in years that were very dry or had lots of acorns/mast crops. If you are trying to limit costs then get a timered protein feeder and limit feed straight protein. For the best result you want to feed immediately when the rut(starting late is to late for a rutted down buck) is over and into late summer or end of August.
I prefer to feed year round so that deer can get protein when they want it, not when I want the to. I prefer year round for several reason. One is that I can not tell you when the next stress/drought period will start or end. I prefer to keep protein out year round for the fawns so that they can get started on as early as they can. I have also found that feeding year round keeps deer closer to and on my property longer. During the Sept/Oct time period bucks will hit protein feeder very hard. I like to bowhunt close to protein feeders for this reason. The does will continue to use protein feeders since they can get in to feed anytime, unlike a corn feeder that concentrates all the deer in one spot at the same time. I like to protein feed during the rut since the feed holds the does around the protein feeders. All the bucks show up on corn and the does will not when in the pre-rut on my place. With the does around the protein feeders I can road feed and use the does to drag the bucks in. Feeding year round also helps when or if we get really bad weather during the rut or late season when bucks are worn down or beat up from the rut. I have seen deer empty feeders in a few days in an really cold weather when those same feeders were lasting a month. Deer be it bucks, does or fawns need protein everyday. If your habitat is in great shape they will not eat much of your supplement. If you are in a drought or cold weather storm then they will hit the feed when they need it. If you have deer numbers in CC and great habitat then you will not feed much if any during the year.
2 yrs ago I feed twice what I did last year since it rained twice as much last year as 2 yrs ago. This year I will feed about the same as last year, with about the same amount of deer in all 3 yrs.